Should We Let Cell Phones Ruin Great Moments for People There?

It was one of the most moving events of the conference. Perhaps in my life. Or it could have been. My great seat didn't matter.

As soon as the talented South African storyteller entered the stage, it was all over. The cell phone mob rushed the stage. Jostling to raise their arms above each other and film the moment - ruining it for the other 1000+ people in the tent. Someone got some decent film, maybe.. On a low Rez camera that they may have shown someone who could barely appreciate it with shoddy garbled sound from being too close to the speakers.

Or maybe someone live streamed letting others see it (and likely breaking every copyright rule while at it.) Doubtful with the poor cell service in South Africa.

You know I believe cell phones have their uses but if you sense a rant coming on, that is because it is.

People at an event should take priority over virtual participants
We paid the money. We took the trip. We waited in line for tickets to the conference.

When you rush the stage with cell phones held high you are cheating and you are rude.

You are cheating us out of our experience.

You are rude because you are saying that your film shoot is more important than everyone behind you who is blocked from seeing ANYTHING. Your filming is less important than those who are there.

Even if you are a blogger with thousands of readers you are not more important than the people there.

I took the picture above and I am a blogger with thousands of readers and my hiney was in the seat.

The problem was that the event HAD cameras and you were even blocking those. You were rude. You were stealing. You were likely even stealing from the performers who could no longer see us -the audience but only the arms with the cell phones held high. They also have artistic rights to their music as did their client to this performance.

These are the things we need to start talking about. NOW. ENOUGH!!!!

Time To Talk Manners

I love cell phones. They are good for certain things but when I couldn't see the first pirates of the carribean movie because of the blinking blue tooth headset on the guy in front of me, I realized that we have to learn the POLITE way to integrate these tools into society

There are the kinds of things we talk about in our Digiteen project at school.

Like the wreck I had where a woman hit me when she ran the light. I had two witnesses both of whom had a foggy recollection because their cell phone conversations were more important than watching what was happening at the busy intersection.

Who is running who!?

Our devices are to improve our lives.

Don't blame it on the marketers. You don't have to answer every phone call, every tweet, and pay attention to people who aren't there.

Show me a nice restaurant and it is one where people don't sit there talking about Aunt Martha's hemmeroids or how Joe is messing up the business deal with his ineptitude. Take those conversations outside. Let the rest of us talk with our kids about their week or whisper sweet nothings in our boyfriend's ear.

Now you can sit in a restaurant and see kids gathered around an iPad watching tangled on their portable speaker system while the adults yell over the din and everyone 5 tables over is included in the racket.

Yes, good manners are important. I don't care if rug rats and the Simpsons and Tosh have made it seemingly ok to talk about bodily functions that made us blush in mixed company 10 years a go but I don't want to hear it at a restaurant.

The Bible talks about a time when people lose their ability to blush. God forbid we ever get to that point.

Everything is not ok and it is definitely not all good. I am making a call to bloggers and teachers out there to start having conversations about what is good for public behavior and not. Otherwise we sink to the lowest common denominator. People who don't care about others.

As for me:

  • If I am in public, I will go outside to have a phone conversation.
  • My ringer will be on silent in public.
  • I will pay attention to my family and ignore texts unless there is a life threatening situation.
  • I will not jump up to film a live event unless it is something I have arranged.
  • If I am running a live event people will want to film, I will have it filmed and make it available for those who want to share.
  • I will avoid blinking lights and bright devices in places that will impair the viewing of others.
  • I will work hard to treat others as I want to be treated.
  • I will be forgiving when others are rude but perhaps let the manager know after they have left so the manager can realize his clients would like peaceful places to dine and watch movies.
  • I will be a respectful, polite advocate for good manners knowing that the very word "good manners" will make many people who have a "to each his own" attitude angry. These people don't realize that each of us make up society.

Bottom line. Over one thousand people in a tent deserved to see that performance of a lifetime more than 20 people had a right to film it. If giving 20 people the "right" takes away the enjoyment of 980 others at the event, I have a problem with that.

It is time to talk Tech and it needs to start with those who use it most.

Posted using BlogPress from Vicki's iPad

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